New England Soccer Today

Talking Points: #LAvNE

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

The New England Revolution’s title hopes fell just short in Sunday’s 2-1 MLS Cup final loss to the LA Galaxy at the StubHub Center. Here are some talking points surrounding the local XI’s bitter Cup defeat.

Revs fall short again

In both 2002 and 2005, the New England Revolution fell to the Los Angeles Galaxy in the MLS Cup, both by a score of 1-0 in extra time. On Sunday history essentially repeated itself, as it was extra time that once again doomed the Revolution, falling 2-1 to the Galaxy on a late winner by MLS MVP Robbie Keane. The Ireland International, who was named MVP of the game, found the back of the net in the 111th minute after receiving a long ball from Marcelo Sarvas and slotting it passed Revs goalie Bobby Shuttleworth to give his team the victory. After an opening goal from Gyasi Zardes in the 52nd minute gave Los Angeles the 1-0 lead, New England was able to respond with a goal from Chris Tierney in the 79th to tie the game at 1.

Donovan goes out on top

After being left off the United States’ World Cup roster this past summer, Landon Donovan had one last goal before heading into retirement: win one more MLS Cup. With the victory on Sunday, Donovan was able to get the storybook ending he wanted, finishing his career with a title, giving him six overall. The 32-year old was kept off the score sheet by the New England defense, but was able to generate chances for himself and Keane up top. Donovan finished with two shots, one of which was on goal, and also received a yellow card before the end of the first half.

Nguyen exits early

Right before the end of regulation, the Revs suffered a blow offensively when midfielder Lee Nguyen had to be subbed off due to an injury. New England would be without their star for the duration of extra time, with Andy Dorman being the one to come on as a substitute. While being one of New England’s most prolific offensive players, he was held without a shot by the Galaxy’s defense.

Up-and-down game for Tierney

For Chris Tierney, this MLS Cup had its share of highs-and-lows. On a high note, the boyhood Revolution fan was able to find the back of the net, tying the game at one with 11 minutes remaining in regulation. Unfortunately, the goal scorer was caught hanging defensively, not pushing up quick enough and being the one to leave Keane onside leading to the game winner. Tierney’s goal came on a left-footed strike after receiving a pass from Patrick Mullins inside the 18. Mullins, who came on for Charlie Davies in the 72nd minute, made an immediate impact, providing the assist for the Rev’s equalizer.

A season to remember

Despite falling short once again, New England had a fantastic season. The team finished with 17 wins, and was able to finish just four points behind D.C. United for first place in the Eastern Conference. They also were able to acquire a star in Jermaine Jones, and received a vital offensive boost from MVP candidate Lee Nguyen, who ended the season with 18 goals. For Jay Heaps’ side, there are plenty of positives to take from this season, and fell just short of achieving their dream of winning the club’s first MLS Cup in team history.

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